BOULDER — Honey, the Los Angeles-company that makes a browser extension to help online shoppers get the lowest price for their products, is opening a development office in Boulder.
The company, which is debuting at Boulder Startup Week, is planning to hire 20 back-end engineers in the next year-and-a-half to work on new Honey initiatives. The Boulder office will be run by longtime Boulder resident Jud Valeski, who has previously worked as a technical director at AOL, CTO of Techstars and operated his own startup. Valeski will serve as general manager of the Honey offices in Boulder.
“We’re looking to expand our product offering as we scale and grow,” Valeski said in an interview with BizWest. “Our headquarters is in downtown L.A. We’re looking for other technical ecosystems and locales that have a strong engineering talent, and Boulder has established that ecosystem over the years.”
While Valeski said he couldn’t go into details about what the Boulder team would work on, he did say it would leverage Honey’s existing infrastructure and would eventually embark on some machine learning.
“Honey is in a rapid growth phase as we look to build our footprint outside downtown L.A. and look at areas where we could have unlimited access to the high level talent and builders we’re looking for. That’s Boulder,” said Kelly Parisi, vice president of communications for Honey.
Valeski said he decided to join Honey because building sustainable engineering teams is a passion of his.
Honey Boulder will have offices downtown and has already made its first hire.
While owning a building seems like something every successful business should do, that’s not always the case. For many companies, it makes more sense to continue leasing space, freeing up time and capital that can be better utilized in other ways.
While some tech companies have experienced challenges in hiring skilled talent in Boulder, Valeski said he was confident Honey would be able to put together the team it needs.
“I’m working with my existing networking and folks I’ve worked with in the past, which helps a lot,” Valesi said.
He added that while the innovations Honey will be making and the creativity the team will have will be startup-like, the company is in a financial position to offer strong salaries and benefits to employees, which may make it more enticing.
“Between the intrigue and actual work we’re doing here, the existing familiarity and relationships and the ability to indeed compete on actual compensation and benefits packages, we’re in a good position,” he said.
Boulder will be Honey’s first development office outside of Los Angeles. The company also has an office dedicated to retail partnership in Santa Barbara and recently opened an office in the United Kingdom to build its presence overseas.
To kick off Honey’s presence in Boulder, Valeski is co-hosting a panel on Tuesday at Boulder Startup Week with Google Boulder’s engineering site director, Scott Green, on building bootstrapped startups into behemoths. Following the panel, Honey is hosting a happy hour. Honey is also a title sponsor of Startup Week, along with Techstars.